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Sunday, November 13, 2005

I recently purchased a package of Pepcid AC tablets as an experiment. I occasionally suffer from acid reflux type heartburn while trying to sleep, say once every couple of months or so, and I wanted to see what effect these tablets might have compared to convential antacids like Tums. I had an episode last night, probably from eating too much garlic bread for supper combined with a couple of large chocolate chip cookies later on. I took one when bad heartburn woke me up and it proved quite effective in stopping things, including helping with the horrible scratchy feeling in my throat that usually results. Besides taking Tums in the past I've also eaten some raw carrots, which tends to help relieve some of the symptoms for some reason.

I decided to take a quick look via Google to see what potential side effects these pills might have. I found none that directly effect me at the moment. What I did find interesting is that Pepcid AC is not only used to treat stomach acid problems in humans, but in dogs and cats as well. I do wonder about some potential use of the product though, which is in its preventative role. You can take a Pepcid AC prior to eating to prevent heart burn, and I'm a bit leery about people doing this. Self medicating like that may allow some people to ignore symptoms that might be signs of a major problem by forestalling them. The product information enclosed with the tablets warns against that kind of thing, but you know that some people will not read the product info before using the pills. The best way to prevent heart burn, unless you're advised by your physician to do so, is to be careful about what you eat and how you eat it. Drinking water with your meal for example is said to be one way to reduce the chance of later indigestion.

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